Sunday, 19 May 2013

The state of 3D printing

The world of 3D printing has intrigued me for years. An industrial designer friend of mine has been tinkering with 3D printed prototypes and objects for a few years now and I've been surveying the state of things for a while. I particularly liked the look of theForm1 on kickstarter although the limited choice of material is a potential issue. Anyway, for whatever reason, after a few hours of trawling shapeways, I feel compelled to rehash my favourites:

8. I have trouble believing the claim that this actually works. The sheer number of components here and the tolerances they must have is incredible.

7. An elegant chopstick holder that would look at home at the most sophisticated dinner table.
With hashi 1

6. A lens cap holder that attaches to your camera strap. Ingeniously simple and useful and it looks so professional it's hard to tell from the picture what the object actually is.

5. A Galaxy S3 case + credit card holder + money clip + bottle opener. Seriously, I wish I had a Galaxy S3 right now.

4. A blast from my childhood past! Evil tentacle!

3. Serious jewellery. Sure, you have to take it to a professional jeweller to get it properly made but the fact the designs like this can be based on a 3D printed base is still very impressive.

2. You can actually get stuff printed in stainless steel now. Awesome!
Size example

1. This mug looks incredible. Printed in ceremic, the detail is amazing. The price is the only reason I've held back and I assume these will drop significantly with time.